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NAACP Supports Diversity in Media Ownership, Calls for the FCC to Take Steps to Encourage More Racial and Ethnic Minority Media Ownership

WHEREAS, vibrant public dialogue- facilitated by a diverse array of media outlets- has long been a cornerstone of American Democracy. Even more central to our national identity is our capacity to question, stand up, and speak out; and

WHEREAS, the civil rights community has long regarded the expansion of racial and ethnic minority and female ownership in media as an important goal because of the powerful role the media plays in the democratic process, as well as in shaping perceptions about who we are as individuals and as a nation; and

WHEREAS, for more than two decades, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promoted minority media ownership in broadcasting and cable; yet the current FCC presently has no meaningful policies to address racial and gender inequities in media ownership and has ignored the impact of its media ownership rules on those inequities; and

WHEREAS, within the past ten years, media ownership has been consolidating: despite the fact that broadcast media continues to be the primary source of local news, with 74% of adults getting local news from local TV stations, 51% getting it from radio broadcasts, and 50% from local newspapers. Furthermore, while African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans make up over one third of the U.S. population, they own only 7.2% of all full-power radio and TV stations. Women make up 51% of the U.S. population, yet own less than 6% of full-power commercial radio and TV stations; and

WHEREAS, slightly less than a third (30%) of African Americans report getting most of their national and international news from newspapers. The majority of African Americans receive most of their news from television; and

WHEREAS, in addition to a loss of perspective, media ownership consolidation represents a loss in potential income for racial and ethnic minorities as well; and

WHEREAS, according to a 2011 study, African American buying power will have gained 35%, reaching 1.1 trillion dollars in 2015, up from $913 billion in 2008. Although African Americans comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population, they consistently outspend all ethnic groups in several key categories, including electronics and entertainment. Despite these facts, however, advertising in minority owned media dropped precipitously with the onset of the latest economic downturn and has not regained its previous strength, thus leading to the closing or consolidation of more minority owned media outlets over the last 10 years.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP demands that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) develop guidelines which will promote diversity and that comply with the Supreme Court's decisions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP strongly encourages the FCC to prioritize diversity in all policy and guideline changes which would further limit or in any other way lead to the decline of diversity within media ownership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on major companies to put more of their advertising resources into minority-owned media outlets, including radio, television, newspapers, new media and magazines, whether it be directly or through minority owned advertising and marketing agencies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we reaffirm the Fair Share Agreements from years 1983, 1989, 1990 and 1997; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP Washington Bureau advocate to increase media ownership diversity.